Performance Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 8 PM

Cancelled: Anna Netrebko
Elena Bashkirova

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Anna Netrebko, with great regret, has cancelled this performance. After singing seven performances of the extremely taxing title role in Donizetti's Anna Bolena at The Metropolitan Opera, she has been ordered to go on 10 days of vocal rest by her doctor.

Ticketholders who purchased tickets for this performance will receive automatic refunds. Ticketholders with any further questions may contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.


  • Anna Netrebko, Soprano
  • Elena Bashkirova, Piano


  • Anna Netrebko

    With her beautiful, dark, and distinctive voice, and her elegant and alluring stage presence, Anna Netrebko is no longer just the darling of the opera world: She is enchanting audiences around the globe, while continuing to cultivate the respect and admiration of opera's most devoted and demanding fans.

    Since her triumphant Salzburg Festival debut in 2002 as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Ms. Netrebko has gone on to appear with nearly all of the world's great opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera; San Francisco Opera; London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Vienna State Opera; Opéra de Paris; Zurich Opera; Staatsoper Unter den Linden; and Munich's Bavarian State Opera. She also frequently returns to the Kirov Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (where she made her stage debut as Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro) to collaborate with her longtime mentor, conductor Valery Gergiev.

    Ms. Netrebko made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2002 as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace, a role she has also sung at London's Covent Garden, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, and Madrid's Teatro Real. Ms. Netrebko's other signature roles include Mimì in Puccini's La bohème; Violetta in Verdi's La traviata; Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Elvira in his I puritani, and Amina in his La sonnambula; Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro; Norina in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Adina in his L'elisir d'amore, and the title role in his Lucia di Lammermoor; the title role in Massenet's Manon; and Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.

    In addition to her opera engagements, Ms. Netrebko appears extensively in concerts and recitals throughout the world, both in revered music halls and in arenas in front of tens of thousands of people. She also boasts an extensive discography that includes solo albums, complete opera recordings, and DVDs.

    In 2007, Ms. Netrebko became the first classical musician to be named to the "TIME 100" list, TIME magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. That same year, she serenaded film director Martin Scorsese at the 30th annual Kennedy Center Honors. Her other honors and awards include Grammy nominations for her recordings Violetta and Russian Album, MusicalAmerica's 2008 Musician of the Year, Germany's prestigious Bambi Award, the UK's Classic BRIT Awards for Singer of the Year and Female Artist of the Year, and seven German Echo Klassik awards. In 2005, she was awarded the Russian State Prize-the country's highest award in the field of arts and literature; in 2008, she was named the "People's Artist of Russia."

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  • Elena Bashkirova

    Elena Bashkirova belongs to a family of musicians. She studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with her father, the famous pianist and music teacher Dimitrij Bashkirov. Ms. Bashkirova has since become a regular guest with such well-known orchestras as the Munich Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid, and Israel Philharmonic, as well as the Chicago, Dallas, Washington, and Houston symphonies. Another important destination for her extended concert tours is Asia, where she has performed with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Taipei.

    Ms. Bashkirova has worked with many celebrated conductors, including Sergiu Celibidache, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnányi, Andris Nelsons, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Lawrence Foster, David Robertson, and Michael Gielen.

    Since the beginning of her career, Ms. Bashkirova has intensively devoted herself to chamber music. Particular mention should be made of her partnership with Gidon Kremer, with whom she has performed at numerous international festivals in addition to appearing on several recordings. She has also performed with many singers, such as Anna Netrebko, Dorothea Röschmann, Stella Doufexis, Robert Holl, Roman Trekel, Dietrich Henschel, and Thomas Quasthoff.

    In 1998, Ms. Bashkirova founded the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. As its artistic director, she organizes a chamber-music event that takes place annually in September with internationally acclaimed artists.

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At a Glance

In tonight’s concert, Anna Netrebko introduces us to the songs of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, personal friends and appreciative colleagues, who pursued parallel careers as song writers from the 1860s to the 1890s. Both protégés of Mily Balakirev, who godfathered the Russian nationalist musical movement, they met in 1868 and even shared a room and a piano during the winter of 1871–1872, as both worked simultaneously on operas. Rimsky-Korsakov dedicated one of his songs from Op. 8 to Tchaikovsky, while the latter returned the favor with two songs in his Op. 16.


Both Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky worked primarily in the style of the Russian Romance, a song genre extremely popular in 19th-century Russia that revolved around the joys and torments of love and was designed for the growing Russian educated class. The explosion of Russian songwriting in the second half of the century was also a response to the flowering of Russian poetry, from the great Alexander Pushkin to eager amateurs from the rising middle class and the aristocracy.


Though they admired each other’s work immensely, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky had very different creative personalities, as we will hear. Cool and rational in temperament, Rimsky-Korsakov approached his poems with reverence and emphasized precise, sensitive word setting underpinned by restrained piano accompaniments. Warmer and more confessional, Tchaikovsky poured his heart out in his songs, playing freely with the poetry and gilding it with lavish writing for the piano.

Program Notes